Little explored Roman ruins that deserve your time!  January 14th, 2019


Image by dun_deagh on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA


Under the guidance of Emperor Claudius, the Roman invasion of Britain began unfolding in the year 43 AD however Caesar had already stepped on British shores in 55 and 54 BC – to the complete satisfaction of the adoring Roman public. Emperor Claudius recommenced Caesar’s subjection campaigns, and soon the Romans had gained dominance over the small tribes scattered across present-day southeastern England. Threatened by a common enemy, tribes, druids, priests and common folk soon united to fight in the resistance and great war heroes like Caractacus and Queen Boudica rose to the occasion, disrupting and obstructing the Romans.

Today, the crumbling remains of a once dominant, 400-year reign of Roman Britain pull in thousands of international visitors who flock to the more famous ruins like UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. While these artworks, constructions and artefacts give us an insight into the life and times of Roman Britain, many sites are just as historically rich yet often overlooked in favour of the more famous Roman attractions. Here are our top four picks for an excellent campervan hire holiday!


1.  Fishbourne Roman Palace


Fishbourne Roman Palace. Image by Adam Tinworth on / CC BY-ND


The Fishbourne Roman Palace is a work of art and remains an impressive Roman Villa that is certain to have been the envy of the town!  The large villa surpasses the Buckingham Palace in size and remains the largest Roman dwelling north of the Alps. Construction began during the year 75 AD, and artisan architects and designers sailed in from Gaul and Italy to oversee the creation of the 100-room house. Despite extensive reconstructions throughout the subsequent two centuries, the magnificent palace and many of its first-century mosaics burned to ashes in a massive fire, leading to the desertionof the site. Today the formal gardens are replanted to represent the original garden plan, and the site contains some of the oldest mosaics in Britain. A large quantity of jewellery, pottery, and coins found at the site are also on display.


Fishbourne Roman Palace
Roman Way, Chichester PO19 3QR, UK
+44 1243 785859


We’ve got travel tips, and fabulous West Sussex motorhome hires! Take a look!


2. Chedworth Roman Villa


Chedworth Roman Villa. Image by billllymac on Instagram


Like the Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chedworth Roman Villa contains well-preserved mosaic floor work and numerous Roman artefacts found on-site. The large villa is a former residence of a well-heeled Roman Briton, and initial construction began during the 2nd century AD. Work on the villa continued for the next two centuries, and by the 4th century AD, the Chedworth Roman Villa embodied the opulent dwellings of the wealthiest, cultured Roman Britons. Residents and visitors admired the beautiful mosaic floors and extravagant marble fixtures placed within the two individual bathing suites. An ancient, underfloor heating plan functioned akin to contemporary central heating and kept the bathhouses agreeably toasty!


Chedworth Roman Villa
+44 (0) 344 800 1895


If you’re heading to Cheltenham, your best bet is a comfortable campervan – like Boris! He’s a retro, 1977 VW T2 bay camper van with many of his original fittings in place. He’ll easily seat and sleep four passengers and contains a two ring gas hob, a sink with running water and a hydraulic elevating roof for added travel benefits. Speak to his owners today!


3. Corinium Museum


Image by coriniummuseum on Instagram


The market town of Cirencester in Gloucestershire was once a thriving Romano-British city of Corinium Dobunnorum. The Romans seized the area following the fruitful invasion of 43 AD and erected a fort outside which a civilian settlement began to grow. Before long the city had mushroomed into the second largest town following Britain. The region was soon securely under Roman rule, and the fort was considered redundant and torn down during the year 75 AD. The regions enclosing Cirencester has always been an archaeologists delight, and numerous Roman finds now rest at the Corinium Museum, which unsurprisingly contains one of the most significant collections of Romano-British relics in the UK.


Corinium Museum
Park Street,Cirencester,Gloucestershire GL7 2BX
+44 (0) 1285 655611


4. Vindolanda


Vindolanda. Image by The Armatura Press on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA


Set south of Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda was a Roman fort and village that guarded the Roman road of Stanegate (or stone road in Norse) that stretched from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. The area contains a rich picking of Romano-British relics, and as of now an astounding 500 metric tons of pottery alone have been unearthed at the site. Considered one of the most valuable Roman archaeological locations in Europe, the Vindolanda tablets were discovered here in 1973, and at the time were the oldest surviving handwritten documents in the UK. Despite being toppled from this title by the Bloomberg tablets,     the wafer-thin Vindolanda tablets are still considered one of Britain’s greatest treasures. The tablets make a note of diverse subjects ranging from appeals of justice, and skirmished between Roman soldiers to unresolved beer tabs and requests for snug socks!  You may see archaeologists at work and if you’d like to lend a hand, clear two weeks of your schedule and volunteer to join in the excavations! There is a Roman Army Museum in the vicinity as well!


Vindolanda Trust
Chesterholm Museum, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland
+44(0)1434 344 277


If you liked this article you may also like our top five picks for Celtic culture and history!






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